Diplomatic successes are rarely enduring if they are not rooted in purposefulness at home. The UPA's domestic policy drift since it returned to power in 2009 is palpable. Arresting it is a necessary precondition for credible diplomacy in 2011.Although each of India's relationships with major powers has its own specific character, four broad themes have stood out in India's big powerbalance diplomacy in 2010.
The first is about ending India's extended nuclear isolation. After it conducted five nuclear tests in May 1998, India embarked on a bold quest for reconciliation with the global non-proliferation order. A decade of sustained diplomatic effort, especially with the US, saw the Nuclear Suppliers Group grant an exemption in 2008 to the current international rules that bar civilian nuclear cooperation with India, a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The NSG exemption in 2008, however, has left India's status in the non-proliferation order undetermined. The focus this year has been on plugging this last gap between India and the nuclear order.
US President Barack Obama supported India's membership of the various non-proliferation groupings like the NSG, Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australia Group that regulates trade and chemical and biological materials, and the Wassenaar Arrangement that oversees trade in conventional weapons and dual-use technologies.
Other major power balance wholesale usa, except China, have endorsed India's integration as an equal member of these important non-proli-feration clubs. Delhi's challenge in 2011 is to complete this process externally, and develop the necessary internal capabilities for regulating the outward flow of sensitive technologies from India.In a second major advance this year, India has won broader support from the major powers for India's permanent membership of the UNSC. While Britain, France and Russia had endorsed India's candidature earlier, Washington and Beijing remained ambivalent until recently. Obama came through during his visit to India, but Beijing is yet to make up its mind.
The second half of the year saw visits from the leaders of all five permanent members of the UNSC -- the United States, China, Russia, France, and Britain. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also travelled to Tokyo and Brussels for the annual summits with Japan and the European Union. He also squeezed in a meeting with the German chancellor on his trip to Europe.
While the government has reason to celebrate the outcomes from India's engagement with the great powers, it can easily forget the main driver of the new international interest in Delhi -- India's return to high economic growth rates amidst the enduring gloom that has enveloped the advanced world after the global economic recession.